September 25, 2014
AIKEN, S.C. - Savannah River Site (SRS) officials are announcing a key milestone in preparation for the startup of the Salt Waste Processing Facility (SWPF). While there are more steps to follow, the SWPF team installed more than 1,200 feet of new transfer lines that will eventually connect existing liquid waste facilities to the SWPF.
The SWPF will be the key liquid waste facility for processing approximately 90 percent of the some 38 million gallons of tank waste. The SWPF will separate the salt waste into a low-volume, high radioactivity fraction for vitrification in the Defense Waste Processing Facility and high-volume, decontaminated salt solution to the Saltstone Facility for disposal as low-level waste.
Installing the lines was significant, but completing the work safely also was important, according to Frank Sheppard, Vice President and Deputy Project Manager of Parsons, SWPF construction contractor for the Department of Energy (DOE) at SRS.
"Construction of the transfer lines began in 2013 and was finished recently, ahead of schedule, executing approximately 12,000 work-hours with no recordable injuries," Sheppard said. "The lines are currently scheduled to be ready to transfer waste following final tie-ins and testing of the SWPF, currently targeted for 2018."
Savannah River Remediation (SRR), DOE and Parsons, have been closely interfacing on integration of SWPF with the liquid waste system, according to Keith Harp, SRR SWPF Integration Program Manager.
"The two contractors have been working hand-in-hand with DOE to ensure the success of this project," Harp said. "These transfer lines will be vital to SWPF production. The work accomplished so far will integrate SWPF with current liquid waste facilities, such as the DWPF and the tanks farms." The spirit of integration is recognized by DOE.
"A key objective for us over the next five years is to fully integrate SWPF into the liquid waste system," said Jim Folk, DOE-Savannah River Acting Assistant Manager for Waste Disposition Project. "Completion of this task is another example of the close partnering relationship that will be required between DOE and its contractors in achieving this very important goal."
SWPF will utilize technology currently being used in SRR's Interim Salt Disposition Project Modular Caustic Side Solvent Extraction Unit (MCU). Lessons learned from MCU operations are shared during bi-monthly meetings of the SRS SWPF Integration Team, which includes representatives from SRR and Parsons.
"This is a significant step toward ensuring the final integration of SWPF into the liquid waste system at SRS that ultimately results in effective processing and disposition of salt waste leading to final tank closure," DOE Federal Project Director for SWPF Pam Marks said.
SRR is the Liquid Waste contractor at SRS, which is owned by DOE. SRR is a team of companies led by URS Corporation with partners Bechtel National, CH2M HILL and Babcock & Wilcox. Critical subcontractors for the contract are AREVA, EnergySolutions and URS Professional Solutions.